Annelie Stockton is a coach with Team RunRun. To learn more about her or to work with Coach Annelie, check out her coaching page.

running form drillsWhat are Form Drills?

Specific movements that help improve running ability. Start with slow dynamic stretching & work your way into faster movements. Form drills are designed to help loosen the body up, warm the body up for faster running, & improve form. Focus on staying strong, engage your core, & move efficiently. Do them all or pick some favorites & fit them in your schedule where they work best for you.

Benefits:

Performing drills consistently can help improve speed & running form, strengthen muscles & joints, & help with injury prevention.

When do to them:

There are many different ways to fit running drills in to your training. Some of my suggestions are

  • After 5-10 minutes into an easy run use these drills to help loosen up if you are feeling tight or stiff, then continue the rest of your easy run.
  • After an easy run perform these drills before doing strides (strides are 15-20 seconds of gradually picking up your pace to a hard effort)
  • After a running warm-up complete the drills before doing your hard speed intervals (track sessions, fartlek, tempo, hills, etc.).
  • You can also incorporate form drills into your cross training routine. After a short warm up (bike, elliptical, etc.) perform the drills and get back to the cross training OR perform the drills when you have completed your cross training session. Even while cross training, drills are a great way to work on running form without stressing the body.

How often:

I suggest form drills 1-3 times per week and performing 5-10 repetitions of each movement. You can spend anywhere from 5-20 minutes on these drills.

Arm Swings:

Slow skip & swing arms across the body.

Forward Arm Circles:

Slow skip & swing arms in forward circles.

Backward Arm Circles:

Slow skip & swing arms in backward circles.

Hamstring Stretch:

Reach opposite hand to foot.

Quad Stretch:

Swing leg behind & grab foot

Hip Stretch:

Squeeze knee to chest.

Side Shuffle:

Swing arms above head & move sideways.

Forward Leg Swing:

Swing leg forward & back, keep knee slightly bent & reach opposite hand towards foot.

Sideways Leg Swing:

Keep knee slightly bent.

Forward Hip Rotation:

Move leg backwards, Use hip to rotate leg, & bring forward, keep knee bent.

Backward Hip Rotation:

Move leg forward, use hip to rotate leg & bring backwards, keep knee bent.

A Skip Slow:

Bring knee towards chest & use “running arms.”

B Skip Slow:

Bring heel towards glute, swing leg through, & quickly snap the ground.

A Skip Fast:

Move quickly, focus on strong arms & core.

B Skip Fast:

Move quickly, focus on strong arms & core.

Butt Kicks:

Quickly bring heel to glute & use “running arms”.

High Knees:

Move quickly, keep good posture, bring knee towards chest, & use “running arms.”

Carioca:

Moving sideways, right leg goes up and over left, then behind left. Switch directions.

Annelie Stockton is a coach with Team RunRun. To learn more about her or to work with Coach Annelie, check out her coaching page.